Print 13 comment(s) - last by AlvinCool.. on May 28 at 4:27 PM

Windows Mobile 6.5's start screen features larger icons which allow for touch functionality. The OS is set to come out very soon, but will be quickly replaced by Windows Mobile 7 in under a year.  (Source: PC World)
The newest version of Windows Mobile is almost done, but it won't be around for long

Windows Mobile 6.5 is nearly here.  "For the record, Windows Mobile 6.5 is DONE . . . complete . . . looks really good," noted the Windows Mobile Developers Team on its Twitter account. The post was later deleted, but most believe it’s a sure sign that the update is nearing release.

The post puts the spot on the potential of the new release and its problems.  First the potential; Windows Mobile 6.5 will offer key improvements from the previous version 6.1, including touch capability.  It will be available on a rumored 31 smart phones, including models from HTC, Toshiba, Samsung, and Motorola.

Next the problem(s); Windows Mobile 6.5 will be eclipsed in under a year by the Windows Mobile take on Windows 7, aptly named Windows Mobile 7.  WinMo 7 should bring many more improvements to the table -- and there's no telling what phones will be compatible with the new mobile OS.

In short, Windows Mobile 6.5 has an identity crisis -- it might tempt users to update, but it seems unlikely to snare a large volume of new business, as it will be quickly replaced by its own kin.  For those updating, the new release tweaks the UI, replacing the small icons with larger ones allowing users to ditch the stylus and use finger navigation.  Likewise, Internet Explorer Mobile has received an overhaul and is now touch friendly.  The Today Screen has also been tweaked to allow items such as a music player to be added.

For those willing to wait, Windows 7 Mobile should bring much more, including a modern multi-touch interface, complete with scaling and zoom.  It will also bring new versions of the company's mobile programs -- IE, email, SMS, photo/music management -- packaged together in a suite.

Others, though, will likely be lured away by the promise of Palm's new webOS featured on its upcoming Pre phone, or the OS X-sporting iPhone 3G.  And Google's Android OS, aboard the G1 phone, remains yet another popular smart phone operating system.

Microsoft owns a large portion of the smart phone OS market share.  However, its previous version of the OS was lagging behind competitors in certain key features, such as touch functionality.  Windows Mobile 7 should even the playing field, but in the meantime customers will be offered Windows Mobile 6.5 -- a halfway OS that will likely find a tough time establishing its identity, though offering some new perks.

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RE: The solution is simple...
By noirsoft on 5/19/2009 10:56:54 AM , Rating: 1
Not possible if WinMo7 requires hardware not available in 6.5 devices (like multi-touch capable screens)

RE: The solution is simple...
By djc208 on 5/19/2009 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
But then there's not much of a problem either. You push to make 6.5 an upgrade for people who have a phone that won't run 7, and 7 for new phones.

Problem is that if WinMo 7 will support older phones that don't support all the OS's features, just like Win7 can support systems that can't run Aero and don't have mulit-touch, then there's no reason to upgrade to 6.5 if you can wait a few months and get 7, which will do the same and more.

RE: The solution is simple...
By omnicronx on 5/19/2009 3:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
WinMo 7 will not have an upgrade path. So don't go buying a 6.5 phone thinking they will be offering an upgrade, because they wont. Most likely it will require multitouch for any touch phone, something which no current windows mobile phone has.(there may be a non touch version, but if it is a touch enabled phone, multitouch will most likely be required)

6.5 and 7 will be two completely different beasts. Don't let anyone fool you, 6.5 is still 6.* series windows mobile. It finally has kinetic scrolling, changed the start menu, added in a new today interface which is pretty cool and rewrote much of the code that plagued previous Windows mobile devices(memory management etc) and runs great compared to 6.1, but it is still based off the same old same old.

I've been using it for a few months now, and I really like it, but don't think that 6.5 will be an indication of how good 7 will be, because it wont.

RE: The solution is simple...
By AlvinCool on 5/28/2009 4:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
WinMo 7 will not have an upgrade path. So don't go buying a 6.5 phone thinking they will be offering an upgrade, because they wont.

Kind of a bold statement isn't it? If a company built the phone to mobile 7 specs, multi-touch screen and the correct amount of ram and rom, why couldn't it be upgraded from 6.5? I say that as it's quite possible that I'm now running 6.5 on a Dell X51v

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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